Saturday, July 23, 2016

salvation in yahweh elohim?

… and I save them בַּיהוָה in Yahweh Elohim of them (Hosea 1:7)

We have a lovely Saturday morning, one of my favorite times of week. Come to think, it’s Sabbath, isn’t it, sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. 

Morning began not spectacular but nice. Just after seven o’clock we watched as two vehicles met and passed, tug pushing barges eastward came round the bend from Hathaway Bridge to meet barges being pushed westward, they met just off 7H porch. Standard rules of the road, I reckon, passing port to port. Think to be a tugboat captain in my next life, Linda seriously undecided whether to be ship’s cook. 

First lesson tomorrow is Hosea 1:2-10. I get it all but the phrase in verse 7, above. What means “I save them in/by Yahweh their God”? Somehow the meaning is in the context, the contrast set up in the thought “I will not save them by bow, or by sword, or by war, or by horses, or by horsemen — but by their Lord God.” Am I to understand that deliverance will come not by violence but by the Lord? I don’t know, I really don’t. What comes to mind is the Saturday matinee, Ritz Theatre, in the 1940s. Nine cents to get in, if I went with a quarter, I better gardenia well show up at home with a dime, a nickel and a penny or there’ll be heliotrope. In The Serial (as a small boy, never understood why cereal unless it had something to do with taking a tip from Tom, go and tell your mom, Shredded Ralston can't be beat) last week’s episode had ended horrifyingly chillingly as the little wagon train of frightened and doomed folk were suddenly attacked by hordes of Indian savages bent on massacre. This week’s episode backs up several seconds to begin, and we witness the attack, but just in time, to the sound of the bugle, down the hill ride the men in blue, U.S. cavalry, rifles firing, savages dropping like flies, riding away scared off, and we leap clapping, cheering, screaming. Saved. 

But that’s salvation by violence, isn’t it. In Hosea 1:7 violence seems ruled out. But if not violence, what? What then?

We can’t renounce violence; violence, war is our liturgy, our means of self identification, our national Being. Without violence we are not ourselves, not Americans, not American, not America. We will not really be Americans again until everybody pushes through the saloon swinging doors carrying a gun, a weapon, a firearm. We … If everybody carried a gun nobody would ever get hurt.

How to be saved if not by violent force. How, how does the Lord God save without violence? 

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